A Message Regarding USCIS Announcement on e-Filing Form I-765

  • USCIS has announced on 4/12/2021 that F-1 students choosing to apply  for Optional Practical Training (OPT) are now eligible to file form I-765 online. This new provision refers specifically  and ONLY to  the following OPT categories:
    • 24-Month STEM OPT under I-765 eligibility code (c)(3)(C)
    • Post-Completion OPT under under I-765 eligibility code (c)(3)(B)
    • Pre-completion OPT under I-765 eligibility code ( c)(3)(A)

However, until additional information is available, the ISSO advises eligible applicants to continue to submit paper applications via mail to USCIS following existing instructions on our website. Paper filings continue to be accepted by USCIS. The ISSO will monitor announcements and clarifications issued by USCIS and will continue to keep you informed of any new developments concerning the filing of OPT.

Upcoming Workshop: Understanding Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Understanding Temporary Protected Status

Presented by: Attorney Dan Berger | Curran, Berger & Kludt Immigration Law

Wednesday, April 7, 4pm ET

Registration required

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas recently announced Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Venezuela and Burma (Myanmar), as well as re-designation of TPS for Syria.

For international students in F-1 status and exchange visitors in J-1 status, it may be advantageous to maintain continued F-1 or J-1 status in addition to filing for TPS.

The session will include:

·         Overview of Temporary Protected Status

·         How and when to register for TPS

·         Considerations about retaining dual status

Students and DSOs from area schools are welcome to attend.

USCIS Posts a Memo Extending Flexibility to Certain Applicants Filing Form I-765

On February 26, 2021 USCIS announced flexibilities to certain applicants filing Form I-765 for applicants filing between October 1, 2020 through May 1, 2021. Highlights of the memo include:

  • Ability to re-apply following USCIS denial: Students may be eligible to re-file the Form I-765 if the original petition was filed between October 1, 2020 through May 1, 2021 and USCIS subsequently rejected it. Please contact ISSO immediately for more information on eligibility and process.
  • 14-Month OPT period flexibilities: Students may be eligible to file for an EAD Correction if they were not granted the full 12-months of OPT validity due to USCIS processing times and the requirement that the OPT end date may not be more than 14 months from the program completion date. If you think you may be eligible for this, please contact ISSO immediately for more information.
  • Missing signatures: USCIS will send a Request for Evidence (RFE) rather than rejecting the application.

To read the full memo, please refer to the USCIS Extends Flexibilities for I-765 page: https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-extends-flexibilities-to-certain-applicants-filing-form-i-765-for-opt